Thursday, 7 March 2013

Ladybirds and Hornets and Flies! Oh My!

One of the things about an old stone house is that even though it looks like a big pile of stone which has been arranged in a fashion pleasing to the builder, it is very much a living and breathing thing.  No, the stone doesn't 'breathe' the way you and I do, but the house as a whole is certainly not an airtight structure.  I have drafts all over the place;  some where you expect them like windows and doors, and some in unlikely places like the middle of a wall.

And it is very much alive.  It is crawling with life.  And herein lies my problem.

I was sitting up in bed the other night reading and got smacked in the middle of my forehead by a ladybird flitting around the room.  Most of my windows have at least one housefly in them trying to get out and we have hornets in the living room.  Ladybirds and houseflies I can deal with.  Hornets are another matter altogether.

Last fall, quite late in the season, Chuck went around the outside of the house with a mortar compound and filled in lots of the little cracks.  While he was doing this he found a large gap under a windowsill so he filled that in as well.  Curiously, that same window is where the hornets are all appearing in the house so we think he might have sealed in a hornets nest.  We've killed four or five a day for the past week.  Now the question is how to get rid of them.  I'm inclined to go out and chip open a hole under the sill - both to let the cold air in to encourage a longer hibernation (we still have a foot of snow on the ground.  I'm not prepared to deal with hornets yet!), and to provide another - hopefully more attractive - exit for them when it warms up.  I'm also trying to find out where exactly they are entering the house to seal that off.

In the meantime I keep reminding myself that it could always be worse.  It isn't snakes in my bathtub.

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